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Why You Should Be Watching Your Company’s Cloud Stats

Having a data strategy means getting control of all the places your company data might be hiding.

Why You Should Be Watching Your Company’s Cloud Stats
[Image: Flickr user p.Gordon]

Businesses can gather more and more real-time data on everything from sales to web traffic to social media buzz, but actually accessing those stats often requires individually logging in to lots of different analytics sites.

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That’s something a lot of busy company leaders just don’t have time for, especially when they’re traveling and only have Internet access on a smartphone, says Davorin Gabrovec, CEO of Databox.

“They have Salesforce, they have other apps, but they don’t have those apps installed on mobile,” he says.

To make real-time data from providers like Google Analytics, Salesforce, and Zendesk actually useful in real time, Databox aggregates selected company stats from across the web and creates simple, customizable charts and dashboards all within one mobile app.

“Imagine it like the first app you will open in the morning, and you will see what’s really going on with the business,” says Gabrovec.

While doing market research, Databox found that many executives only received an emailed spreadsheet of company data once or twice a day, while the live numbers were effectively only available to analytics staff able to devote a desktop browser tab to each analytics provider.

“Email was still the only way they accessed their business data,” he says. “We started to see there is a huge need for the whole enterprise for people who spent huge amounts of time outside the office to bring them key insights and metrics in a way more appropriate than opening Excel files.”

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For common data sources, users can provide their login credentials to the app and select from some of the most commonly accessed metrics, Gabrovec says.

“We asked, first, for example in MailChimp, what are the top 10 metrics that we care about as a MailChimp user,” says Gabrovec. “A user can change those metrics and personalize based on his or her needs.”

Different types of users naturally pull from different data feeds, says Gabrovec: Developers often look at info from GitHub and Trello, while sales and marketing staff look at data from sites like Salesforce and Oracle’s Eloqua, he says.

Users can also set up a daily scorecard that displays a morning summary of the data they’re most interested in, says Gabrovec.

“You will receive a push notification before you even started your breakfast saying these are five things that happened yesterday that deserve your attention,” he says.

And push notifications can also be set up to automatically notify users when certain stats cross designated thresholds, he says.

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An SDK also lets users add custom data sources, and display customized charts and scorecards, Gabrovec says.

“When we expose that part, real users feel the whole potential of really plugging in different data sources presented in a way they would like to see,” he says.

The company’s in the midst of rolling out an Android app, which should be available in the next few weeks, and tweaking the layout options for that and the existing iPhone app, he says, in the hopes of making company data simple to use and analyze.

“Everyone is talking about big data, but data itself is not the problem–we have huge amounts of data already,” he says. “But how to deliver that data to someone who needs to make big decisions, that is what we call the last mile in data work.”